Eat the weeds!
Thanks for your care-ful philosophy about our earths' systems. I am looking forward to making "dandee" for the first time as soon as our snow melts (fellow Vermonter here!) and will also make the tincture for my heartburn. From a one quart jar, after straining, do you have an approximate yield so I can muster up enough amber bottles? Like you, we have them growing all over the mowed portion of of our lawn and now I have uses for the ones to be removed from the flower beds without harming the total population. I use an indestructible stainless steel transplant spade from Lee Valley Tools (one of the best sources of interesting and useful stuff) to dig them out. One stomp right next to the plant, push side-wise on the handle to lift the roots a little, remove spade, and the dandelion will pull out cleanly. I walk through the beds loosening all the plants, then come back and remove them. Do check out all the bespoke tools in this line from Lee Valley. they are amazing. I have used the fork and two of their spades for about 35 years, some of them professionally as a landscape designer/installer/maintainer. They are all in good working order today. And the prices are still reasonable. Being less than 5' tall I like the border spade/fork as they have shorter handles. Not sure that I would be comfortable with the rnewer circular grips though!
My grandmother used to make dandelion with in the 1930's to the 1970's, and father used to make us dandelion salad. I love how today so many people are using dandelions in so many different ways.
My children love dandelion chips in the spring. Collect the best parts of the leaves, put them on a large plate, add salt and oil, mix and microwave until crispy. Even vegetable-haters enjoy this.
I dry the flowers and leaves to make hot tea I can enjoy all year.
I add dandelion greens to salads and stir fries year round, but I *buy* dandelion and chickory root tea (a non-caffeinated coffee substitute) because I can't bear to uproot any of my beloved sunny flowering dandelion plants (or my ethereal blue-flowered chickory plants either). Dandelions nourished my horses for the many years that they lived, and my field of beautiful yellow flowers still makes a lovely background for photographing my dogs.
I use witch hazel for facial products. By soaking blossoms in witch hazel I then add vitamin c to the mix.
Completely resonate with your chosen lifestyle. Do you do farm tours? My partner and I will be in your state in April looking at options for moving. If you allow farm tours we would love to see how you do what we want to do in the place we want to be. Thank you in advance for considering.
I will definitely be saving this post! We still have snow on the ground, but soon we'll be covered in dandelions. John jokes, too, that we're dandelion and rock farmers. :-) Now I have a list of things to do with them. Thanks, Ashley!
Thank you Ashley for such a quick, helpful and complete response. When I make cassis from my currants, I have been using Burnett's Vodka which has been reasonably cheap and makes a lovely liqueur. Granite State Vodka was another good brand that i have purchased at NH State liquor stores. D I don't drink either one neat, but will sip before making dandelion tonic!
I love all your information! In my area we have mustard and I am not sure how to differentiate between the two.
In the book Braiding Sweetgrass, the author proves that the more they picked the sweetgrass, (within reason and properly picked) the more the plants would grow. She made her whole educational thesis on this, which at first was rejected (as an idea) because the 'professor' thought the premise was obviously wrong (he said the more you pick something the less of it there will be) and she finally was able to prove him quite wrong. The plants seem to want and need us as much as we need them, when respected and healthy. It sure is a mental gamechanger. Great dandy roundup Ashley....best from OR
I LOVE IT! Dandelions are a gift to us and I'm going to have to try the gummy bear recipe.
Here's a little known fact: The Latin name of dandelion is Taraxacum Officinalis. Any plant with "Officinalis" in its name has been used in some culture somewhere for medicine and it's in the Materia Medica. A favorite here is Lemon Balm or, Melissa Officinalis.
I have been eating dandelion leaves for years. That is, I collect them in spring (before the flowers), dry them in the microwave and put them in a jar. In winter I add the dried leaves to different kinds of food. It is a spice. In winter I lack greens and this way I get magnesium etc.
I found articles in pubmed about the antioxidants which are preserved in this way (microwave).
I don't harvest dandelions as this is usually the first flowere for honey bees to feed on.
Last year I made a dandelion cake, like a carrot cake but with dandelions. You cover the cream cheese icing in fresh petals. It’s lovely!
Ok dandelion ice cream? Sorry bees, move over, I'm taking your food.